Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 8:31am
Help is Available at Many Locations
The new Health Insurance Marketplace, which opened on October 1, is where people without insurance coverage, and those who are looking for a better and less expensive plan, can shop for health insurance. Many people can get financial assistance to significantly lower the cost of insurance. Anyone who wants coverage to start January 1, 2014 needs to enroll before December 15.
There are two ways to ask questions and sign up for coverage: by going to the website www.healthcare.gov or by calling 1-800-318-2596, to talk to a Marketplace representative. Either way will take you step by step through the process, but until the federal website is running more smoothly, calling the Marketplace is your best bet. After you have answered the representative's questions, you can ask to have information about your costs and plan choices sent to your home for you to review and consider. When you have made a decision, the final step will be to sign up for a plan.
In order to sign up, you will need to have the following information available:
• ID information for all members of your family (social security numbers or green card or visa numbers)
• Information about household income (family members that file income taxes together), since this determines if you are eligible for financial assistance
• Information about insurance offered through your job or spouse's job - even if you don't take it - including how much it costs for a single plan
After signing up, some Dane County residents will be eligible for premium assistance through the United Way of Dane County's Health Connect Program (call 2-1-1)
If you need more help with the process, there are community locations where you can talk to a Certified Application Counselor from Public Health-Madison & Dane County or Access Community Health Centers. While these counselors are using the same Marketplace website and phone line as the general public, they have had training to answer questions and help people through the process.
Here are the locations and times where you can get free enrollment help from Certified Application Counselors. No appointments needed.
Access Community Health Center counselors are at the
Dane County Job Center, 1819 Aberg Avenue, Madison
• Monday through Friday - 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
• Representatives from the health insurance plans are also on hand at the Job Center every Thursday from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.
For more information go to: www.danecountyhumanservices.org/ppaca or call 1-888-794-5556.
Public Health-Madison & Dane County counselors are at public library locations. Here is the November schedule. For a complete schedule go www.publichealthmdc.com
201 W. Mifflin St.
Monday, Nov. 4, 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon
204 Cottage Grove Rd.
Tuesday, Nov 5, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
2845 N. Sherman Ave.
Wednesday, Nov. 13, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm
Goodman South Madison Branch library
2222 S Park St
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 10:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m.
2705 E. Washington Ave.
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
5740 Raymond Rd.
Thursday, Nov. 21, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Dane County Libraries
Sun Prairie Public Library
1350 Linnerud Drive
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 4:00 - 7:00 pm
Cross Plains Rosemary Garfoot Public Library
2107 Julius Street
Monday, Nov. 11, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Mount Horeb Public Library
101 Perimeter Road
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
DeForest Public Library
203 Library Street
Thursday, Nov. 14, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Deerfield Public Library
12 W. Nelson Street
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Stoughton Public Library
304 S. Fourth Street
Tuesday, Nov 26, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Public Health - Madison & Dane County
- Jeff Golden, (608) 243-0302